The Obama administration announced today the appointment of Denis McDonough to the post of deputy national security adviser. He will replace former deputy Tom Donilon, who recently vacated the post to replace resigning National Security Advisor Jim Jones.
McDonough has long been a voice in President Obama's ear. The Minnesota native served as senior adviser on national security and foreign policy to Obama during his 2008 campaign as well as on the presidential transition team. Following the election, McDonough helped craft the president's message on diplomacy as director of strategic communications for the National Security Council before taking on his current post as chief of staff. He also played a key role in the decision to send 3,000 additional troops to Afghanistan earlier this year.
McDonough's announcement comes as no surprise. His promotion lends continuity to the national security staff.
"For years, I have counted on Denis McDonough's expertise and counsel on national security issues," Obama said in a statement. "I know that Denis will be indispensable to our entire national security team as we continue to protect the American people, and advance American interests and values around the world."
In his new post, McDonough will report to Tom Donilon, the incoming national security adviser who succeeds James L. Jones.
Before joining the Obama administration, McDonough was a senior fellow at the liberal-leaning think tank, Center for American Progress, and served as foreign policy adviser to former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle. He holds an undergraduate degree from St. John's University, in Collegeville, Minn., and a master's degree from Georgetown University. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife, Kari, and three children.